10 muppets from the Test

Last updated 09:46 08/04/2009

Muppet #10: Martin Crowe for apologising about his criticism of the stand-in Indian skipper at Napier, Virender Sehwag. Having described Sehwag as pretty much the crappiest captain ever, he backed up the truck this week: "Tony Greig has made it clear that he thinks I have been too harsh... He says, along with Ian Chappell, that Sehwag has done some good work as vice-captain in the past. I am not about to argue with these astute gentlemen." Crowe is entitled to his view and shouldn't back down even for Channel 9's finest - Sehwag's outing as captain at Napier was less than ordinary. Mr Crowe may need some Strepsil sponsorship if he is going to be saying sorry every time he expresses a point of view.

Dead liftMuppet #9: The Sideline Slogger for attempting to lift 120 kilograms of Winton man mountain on the bank at the Basin on Saturday afternoon. In my defence, it was on the back end of a champagne breakfast at the Southern Cross, a rendezvous with some of the Beige Brigade's prodigal sons recently returned to our shores, and a few too many Speight's.

Muppet #8: The peculiar Indian bloke who wandered around the Basin with a whiteboard. This occurred throughout the third Test, holding his board aloft for all the crowd to see. On it were snippets of cricket trivia and oddly spelt messages of support for the IPL and the Indian team in general. Here he is publicising the highest 10th wicket at The Basin (far right).

Muppet #7: Whoever came up with the rule at the Basin Reserve that punters must enter the ground in the lunch break only through the two tiny gates at each end. That would be at the two skinniest points around the perimeter and away from where most of the people were sitting. Pity the security guards who were abused for their lack of common sense as they tried in vain to enforce the rule.

Muppet #6: Dean Lonergan on B Sport for not having a memorable description of Mark Richardson. Portly Ian Smith described his fellow Sky cricket commentator as a "paranoid schizophrenic", then legendary good bloke Andrew Mulligan added to that when he said his TCGW co-host was actually a "self-absorbed paranoid schizophrenic".

Muppet #5: The protester outside the ground whingeing about a new road that may pop up outside the Basin Reserve. Given the fact that the ground is in the middle of a roundabout, the presence of cars and trucks on a new road nearby doesn't sound like a death knell for the Basin to me. It sounds more like professional protesters who hate roads having another whinge, and trying to deploy a bit of scaremongering among cricket fans to help with their cause.

Muppet #4: This was going to be Brendon McCullum for getting out when he did. Having watched Franklin and Taylor bat to save the test in textbook fashion, he swaggered to the crease 20 minutes before lunch, flashed at one from wily old Sachin Tendulkar, then returned to the R A Vance Stand in a walk of shame. But it looked a bad decision on the replay so I will throw a skip pass across BM to the drongos who did not allow for daylight savings adjustments to the Test match start times. Poor.

Muppet #3: The person who gave Jesse Ryder a new bat. His aggregate of 3 runs in this Test was less than that of Chris Martin and on the back of excellent returns at Hamilton (123) and Napier (201). Perhaps he could just get the Kookaburra back and re-sticker it with Gray-Nicolls adhesives?

Muppets #2: The eight people referred to in this derisive article in The Press. It echoed Lawrence Booth on Cricinfo who wrote of the English county scene: "...our domestic game looks set for another summer in which its relevance will be questioned, its gate receipts mocked and its old age pensioner supporters hunted down in photographic evidence ('If he's clutching a thermos, so much the better!')." What were these eight punters doing at Lincoln watching two away teams when the Test match was on? Of course, the more relevant question is, why does the domestic cricket "showpiece" clash with a Test match at all?

Muppets #1: The security guards who tried to stop the Indian fans from pro-Sachin singing, indefatigable dancing and relentless drumming at the Basin Reserve on Sunday. This is the sort of mindless policing of fun - and fans - that has to be stopped. They weren't drunk, they weren't violent and they were clearly having a good time supporting their team on an unforgiving Wellington day on the embankment. They were the only people in the ground who were sweating (a side-effect of their dancing) and their presence should have been encouraged - not discouraged.

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Gwynn   #1   05:44 pm Apr 08 2009

Great stuff, especially on the security guards. I was sitting about 10 metres around from you guys on the embankment, and Red Badge have plenty to answer for with their stupid policing of the crowd, the two points your mention are very valid, but the best I felt was on Friday, where one unlucky teenager hit his tennis ball onto the field in the lunch break (as opposed to Saturday where they let people on the field). Having gone onto the field to clearly retrieve said tennis ball, the Red Badge guard pictured above then strong armed him and walked him to the far side of the field.

It was over the top when it was clear to everyone that the kid was just getting his ball back, wasn't going to cause any trouble, but I guess these guys are paid peanuts, which means you're only going to be able to hire monkeys.

Some kudos does have to go to NZC/Wellington cricket for actually letting people on the field on the Saturday lunch break though. I remember doing that as a kid, playing cricket, looking at the pitch, was a great tradition and I'm glad they realised that people can enjoy themselves sensibly at the cricket.

Jon J   #2   05:53 pm Apr 08 2009

As one of the 8 muppets at Lincoln oval watching the final the other day, my only defence is that it's a lot more interesting than lectures! (and i had the test on the car radio; gotta love a ground where you can still park up on the bank and watch through the windscreen)

Ann-Marie   #3   06:31 pm Apr 08 2009

Completely agree with Muppet 1 - I sat next to this group and they were awesome. Shame on Red Badge(r) for trying to shut them up. Shame!

Rob   #4   07:43 pm Apr 08 2009

I actually saw that Indian guy with the whiteboard riding a bike in Wellington today - or at least it looked like him. Also that guard you have pictured had to have something up his buttocks because he wouldn't give a tennis ball back to some little kids who hit it on the outfield.

T   #5   07:57 pm Apr 08 2009

It will be interesting to hear your feelings about the "professional protester" (by that I take it you mean someone who actually acts upon the things they care about instead of just complaining to their mates about it) when the embankment-high overpass is built around the basin. Of course, any new stand they build to block out the sights and sounds of the overpass will completely ruin the feel of the embankment.

Jon   #6   08:04 pm Apr 08 2009

funny article Paul...it was amusing watching the drunk kiwi supporters challenge the whiteboard 'fact dude'.

very poor test match though, might have to give up supporting the BCs one of these days..ESPECIALLY @ $25 a day!

Cam   #7   08:46 pm Apr 08 2009

I am getting sick and tired of all the stories about hired goons at cricket matches , being moorons , and enforicing stupid ground rules to the letter and having no common sense (they must be on bonuses on getting people kicked out or they just enjoy being complete a##holes , probably the latter) Whats with these fun police. Remember NZC and stadium organizers this is a CRICKET MATCH , not an english football game. Why they thought singing and dancing at the match was againts ground rules heaven knows.

Boots   #8   09:00 pm Apr 08 2009

Muppet # 6 - What are his two personalities? Is this not a contradiction...he struggles to pull together one.

Matt   #9   09:08 pm Apr 08 2009

In regards to muppet 5, I believe there is some proposition about a road going OVER the basin reserve, which isn't cool! Obviously they couldn't get their message across well enough to you though.

grant   #10   09:11 pm Apr 08 2009

Wicked articel, Great Kiwi sence of humor

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